By Bill Shields

BOSTON (CBS) — Despite the best efforts of the country’s doctors and nurses, 500,000 people have died from coronavirus. But each victim is so much more than a number, they were a person with a life and story.

Lisa Sullivan’s mother died of COVID-19.

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“This year, 2021 would have been 63 years [of marriage] for them,” Sullivan said about her parents Mickey and Bob.

Recently, Mickey developed dementia and her family found Belmont Manor. “One of the godsends in our lives was Belmont Manor for my mother, they were all amazing there,” said Sullivan.

Before COVID took Mickey away last April, the nurses at Belmont Manor arranged a video session, in her last hours. “We saw her moments before she passed,” Sullivan explained.

It wasn’t long before Bob began to decline as well. He could no longer hold the hand of the woman he’d been holding for so long.

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Bob died in September. “Broken heart syndrome,” said Sullivan.

Mickey and Bob Sullivan (Courtesy Photo)

The hearts of the Desfosses family of Norton are also forever damaged by coronavirus. Detective Sergeant Stephen Desfosses, a respected Norton police officer, died of COVID-19 last month. Now, his widow is trying to cope, along with their two young daughters.

“To be an eight or eleven-year-old girl without their dad, even I can’t navigate that,” said Jessica Desfosses.

She is asking people not to let down their guard with COVID.

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“If one person will think of our story and think twice, if we could prevent one other family from being in our position, then I’m glad to have shared my story,” Defosses said.

The Desfosses family (Courtesy Photo)

Bill Shields